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Happy Woo-Hoolidays???

Dec 18, 2003

Hi Dr. Bob: I found out today that the results of my HIV 1 test (taken 12 weeks after possible exposure) came back negative (non reactive). I am very happy but I was wondering if I can "woo-hoo" (or however you say that) yet or if I should have another test at 6 months. My doctor does not believe it is necessary because he considers my risk of exposure low.

This is what happened: on 9/11/03 the tip of my finger came in contact with some fluid (semen?) on the surface of a chair in a booth of an Adult video store. Although I wiped it off on my pants, I then proceeded to masturbate (I know, not very smart). I do not know how long the semen had been on the chair so I do not know if the HIV virus could survive very well outside the body in those circumstances. Since I did not want to expose my wife to anything (or our son who is nursing) I have had no sex with her for the last three months. It has been a very bad 12 weeks but thanks to psychological counseling, antidepressants and my wifes help/support I have been able to endure the worst of it. I am still dealing with my fear and guilt but reading your list has helped me very much and I wanted to praise you for a job well done and for using humor to help others to better cope with their worries and concerns.

Although I wanted to postpone getting tested until after the Holidays, I finally gathered enough courage to ask my doctor for an HIV test last Thursday (12/04/03). He also ran tests for Hepatitis and I found out that I have not been exposed to Hepatitis (the tests for Hepatitis A IGM, Hept. B Surface Antigen, Hept B Core Antibody IGM and Hept. C Antibody came back all negative). I have not experienced any discomfort in the genital area so far(well, a little bit for about a week after they inserted a swab into my urethra to test for any bacterial STDs; all those tests were also negative) so I do not believe to have been infected with Genital Herpes but I understand that in some cases you can be infected and have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Is that correct?

So this is my story. I am frankly very happy with all these results so far but I wanted to ask for your permission to wooo-hooo, before going on with my life. Is there any possibility of co-infection that I am not aware of? Should I wait another 12 weeks and retest before getting my hopes up and/or resume having sex with my spouse?. Should we use condoms from now on, just in case?

Thanks for your attention and again, as someone who has found a great deal of comfort reading your list for th last three months, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your excellent work. Sincerely, S.V.

PS: Is it possible to request that my donation be spent to educate a specific demographic/geographic group about HIV prevention? (e.g. New Immigrant Hispanics in the Midwest)

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your negative test at 12 weeks definitely and unquestionably qualifies you for a Happy WOO-HOOliday! Additional testing is not warranted or necessary. It's celebration time and, considering you haven't had sex with your wife for three months, it should turn out to be one hot party!

Regarding your question about your donation, yes, you can request the way you would like the funds to be used. We have a variety of programs that deal with HIV/AIDS education and awareness and would happily be able to use the funds in the way you request.

Stay well. Happy Holidays (or, in your case, WOO-HOOlidays!).

Dr. Bob

bob - the voice of reason
Does undectable virus in blood mean no antibodies?

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